Lowe pitches Dodgers past Rockies 3-1 | AspenTimes.com

Lowe pitches Dodgers past Rockies 3-1

John Nadal
The Associated Press
Aspen, CO Colorado
Los Angeles Dodgers starter Derek Lowe pitches to the Colorado Rockies in the first inning of a National League baseball game in Los Angeles, Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008. (AP Photo/Reed Saxon)

LOS ANGELES ” Derek Lowe knew he faced a difficult assignment against the Colorado Rockies. Not only were the defending NL champions on a roll, but they match up well against him.

So the 35-year-old right-hander did his best to keep the Rockies guessing.

The strategy worked.

Lowe cooled off Colorado by allowing one run in 6 1-3 innings, James Loney homered and drove in two runs, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the Rockies 3-1 Thursday to salvage the finale of a three-game series.

Manny Ramirez contributed with a stolen base, of all things, as the Dodgers completed their 10-game homestand with a 7-3 record and moved within 11/2 games of NL West-leading Arizona, which played visiting San Diego on Thursday night.

“I think they have one of the best offenses we face, especially against me. They’re all low-ball hitters,” Lowe said. “I threw a lot of breaking balls and tried not to be so predictable, throwing sinker away, sinker away. You have to command your off-speed pitches against this lineup. I was fortunate to keep it to one run.

“Manny got a stolen base to get us going. The bullpen did a great job.”

The loss snapped a five-game winning streak for the Rockies, who scored 36 runs in three wins in Washington and two more at Dodger Stadium. It also ended Colorado’s four-game winning streak against the Dodgers.

Lowe (10-10) allowed four hits with two walks and seven strikeouts before relieved by Hong-Chih Kuo after issuing a one-out walk to Jeff Baker in the seventh.

“When he’s hitting his spots like that, he’s tough,” Colorado’s Ian Stewart said of Lowe. “It seemed like (Dodgers catcher Russell) Martin never moved his glove from where he set up.”

Kuo struck out pinch hitter Troy Tulowitzki before Clint Barmes blooped a double to right. With the tying and go-ahead runners in scoring position, pinch hitter Willy Tavares popped to first to end the inning.

Kuo then retired the Rockies in order in the eighth, and Jonathan Broxton worked the ninth for his 10th save in 11 chances since taking over the closer’s role last month when Takashi Saito went on the disabled list. Stewart hit Broxton’s first pitch for a double before Broxton fanned Chris Iannetta, Baker and Tulowitzki to end the game.

Broxton was the losing pitcher Wednesday night when the Rockies scored a run in the ninth for a 4-3 victory.

“It was a stupid pitch on my part,” Broxton said of the ball Stewart hit. “I threw him six or seven splits last night. I started him with a breaking ball. He had to be looking for it. I got a little mad, started turning it loose.”

After that, the Rockies didn’t appear to have a chance.

The Rockies scored their run in the first when Barmes singled, stole second, took third on an infield out and came home on Matt Holliday’s sacrifice fly.

The Dodgers tied it with an unearned run against Jorge De La Rosa (6-7) in the fourth when Ramirez reached on an error by third baseman Stewart, stole second without a throw and scored on Loney’s out-out single, the first Los Angeles hit. The stolen base was Ramirez’s first with the Dodgers and second of the season.

“Juan Pierre told me to go, so I went,” Ramirez said afterward with a smile. Pierre, who has 38 stolen bases to rank third in the NL, denied the claim.

Matt Kemp hit a two-out double in the fifth and scored on Andre Ethier’s single to put the Dodgers ahead for good, and Loney opened the seventh by hitting a 2-1 pitch from Luis Vizcaino over the right field fence for his 10th homer to complete the scoring. Vizcaino then struck out the next three batters.

De La Rosa was lifted for a pinch hitter after allowing four hits and two runs, one earned, in six innings. He walked two and struck out three.

“He was good, he was real good,” Rockies manager Clint Hurdle said of De La Rosa. “It’s very challenging to win a game when you score one run.”

Lowe, who threw 107 pitches on a hot day, worked out of a two-out, two-on jam in the fourth by getting De La Rosa on a fly to left, and then retired the next seven batters ” four on strikes ” before the walk to Baker.

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